Europe Beyond Access is an ambitious 4-year programme designed to internationalise the careers of disabled artists and revolutionise Europe’s performing arts scene.

The core partners of the project are British Council, Onassis Cultural Centre (Greece), Holland Dance Festival (The Netherlands), Kampnagel (Germany), Per.Art (Serbia), Skånes Dansteater (Sweden), and our partner in Trentino Oriente Occidente (Italy). It is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.

The programme consists of an extensive plan of activity including new commissions, workshops, residencies, toolkits, networking events, performances, creative laboratories, artist interviews and films.

The core objectives of Europe Beyond Access are to:

  • Contribute to artistic innovation of disabled artists in Europe
  • Revolutionise the programming palette in European performing arts through showcasing world-class disability-led work and creating a network of experienced programmers interested in commissioning and presenting artists
  • Increase interest in disability-led work
  • Create the best possible industry conditions to source, develop, produce and present work of disabled artists.

Europe Beyond Access in Italy 

“Here in Italy we have to destroy a negative image of disability, we have to create new role models. Disabled people should be able to envision themselves as artists, and those that already have that in their imagination should have the possibility to train professionally.” Oriente Occidente

In September 2021, Oriente Occidente will be hosting the fourth Europe Beyond Access laboratory, bringing disabled artists from across Europe together to collaborate in a week-long intensive focused on Dramaturgy with Gaia Clotilde Chernetich. This meeting will promote the overcoming of barriers that can occur in the interaction between different bodily norms, openly confronting the hot topics of disability and so-called "abilism".

Feeling Good is a new duet commission choregraphed by Diego Tortelli and performed by Cristian Cucco and Aristide Rontini. A co-production from Oriente Occidente Dance Festival and Fondazione Nazionale della Danza / Aterballetto, Feeling Good takes a new look at Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, exploring diversity and how to breakdown ideas of canonical models beauty.

Programming residencies and performances, Oriente Occidente have worked with Chiara Bersani in residence with SPINN dance company, and Candoco Dance Company to develop and present new work. Working with the Italian Deaf community, they have provided sign language translations of talks and presentations, as well as using SubPacs to enhance performances. For updates on Oriente Occidente’s programme visit:  

Italian disabled artists take part in every Europe Beyond Access laboratory. In 2019, visually impaired dancer and performance-maker Giuseppe Comuniello took part in the lab in Maastricht, hosted by Holland Dance Festival. In the video below, Giuseppe talks about how important these international opportunities are for disabled artists.

There are many ways you can take part and support Europe Beyond Access.

The more voices we have, the louder we can be

By engaging with our content online, you can find out about forthcoming performances, discover emerging and established disabled artists from across Europe, see behind-the-scenes on workshops and residencies, and increase public interest in disabled artists’ work. Importantly, you can directly help to raise the visibility of disabled dancers, theatre-makers and performing artists by sharing our posts. Play a part in educating the mainstream by pushing forth the brightest innovations in the field.

Feeling Good - Fondazione Nazionale della Danza Aterballetto, photo Alice Vacondio
Feeling Good - Fondazione Nazionale della Danza Aterballetto, photo Alice Vacondio
Fondazione Nazionale della Danza Aterballetto - Feeling Good, foto Alice Vacondio
Feeling Good - Fondazione Nazionale della Danza Aterballetto, foto Alice Vacondio

If you are an artist:

Apply for your own artist profile

Join the Europe Beyond Access Facebook Group, a place for artists to connect, get supportive feedback, share works-in-progress, and ask questions to develop your skills. In this Group, we host regular online events featuring workshop leaders and artists.

If you represent an organisation:

Our activities produce a huge amount of compelling visual content perfect for Instagram takeovers. If you have an audience eager for dance, performing arts or disability-related news, spruce up your feed and invite us to do a takeover.

Book one of our artists for your programme.

Benefit from reciprocal promotion. If you would like to share details of our upcoming events and performances with your audience.

Get in touch at:

If you are a journalist:

Get behind-the-scenes access to residencies, rehearsals, artist laboratories, workshops and performances. We are looking for writers to cover our activities, so whether that means interviewing artists, diving into creative processes, the themes of a specific performance, or reporting on radical developments in Italy’s arts scene, contact us.

For communications and media enquiries, please contact

External links